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Audient Console Praised for its “Reliability and Solid Sound”
USA – The final touches are being put on the new studio facilities at the University of Nebraska at Omaha this summer. Featuring a 24-channel ASP8024-HE with Dual Layer Control (DLC) in its classroom-sized control room, Recording Studio 381 is a fully stocked, 96-track (64 analogue, 32 Dante), surround-capable recording facility.
When choosing the console for the Music Technology programme, assistant professor of music technology, Seth Shafer was determined that his students should have a fully-featured tracking and mixing experience. “They should have the opportunity to experience an analogue inline console with sufficient bus outs, plenty of auxiliary sends and a lot of insert options,” he explains. “On the other hand, the DLC control surface allows them to work in the box with convenient hands-on control.”
During his extensive research, Seth discovered that Audient utilises the same mic pre technology in both the large and small format consoles. He went to see the ASP4816 at Chris Schlarb’s Big Ego studio. “I’m a big fan of the music he’s produced on that console. He praised the reliability and solid sound. In an educational setting with many different hands at the controls, his endorsement gave me the confidence that the ASP8024-HE would be the centrepiece of our studio for decades to come.”
The console was installed in a brand new studio space as part of a new wing to the Strauss Performing Arts Center, which opened for courses in spring of 2020. “The inline routing options of the ASP8024-HE are incredibly flexible,” he says, with students and staff equally impressed. “Our faculty of professional engineers were surprised by the versatility and functionality.”
He describes the new facility: “The studio includes immersive 8.1 surround sound, large tracking room, and three isolation rooms. Audio-over-IP connects the studio to both performance halls, a smaller satellite studio and project space, and the adjacent percussion studio.
“The studio is supported by a sizeable complement of microphones, outboard hardware processors, recording and processing software, and routing options,” he continues. “The studio maintains a Steinway B grand piano, upright piano, vintage drawbar organ and speaker cabinet, several vintage electric keyboards, monophonic, polyphonic and modular synthesisers, guitar and bass amplifiers and an assortment of acoustic baffles. In addition, a fully repositionable camera system and large displays facilitate instruction demonstrations.”
With the spectre of Covid-19 and associated restrictions hanging over them, Seth discovered that the Audient desk offered a helpful workaround. “Beyond the standard tracking and mixing features that we teach in our audio recording courses, we were able to use the console for live concert streaming out of our studio when the pandemic cancelled in-person concerts. The console allowed us to build monitor mixes for the performers, mix the live stream, monitor the live stream and record multitracks for later tweaking.”
Despite the challenges of 2020, 70 students got their hands on the console over the past year, and there is already high demand for the studio from both the Music Technology and School of Music faculties. Seth doesn’t see that changing in the near future. “With the opening of the new studio facilities, creation of new courses, expansion of our faculty, placement of alumni in graduate programmes and professional positions and increasing enrolment, the future of the Music Technology programme at the University of Nebraska looks very promising.”
14th September 2021
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